Could you credit it – 50 years of helping Bandon

Posted on: 6th March, 2014

Category: News

Contributor: Sheila Mullins

On February 24, Bandon Credit Union launched a Programme of Events to celebrate its 50th anniversary to a packed room of well-wishers. Set up by a group of visionaries in 1964, the Credit Union was to serve the community of Bandon, helping individuals and clubs. Something it is still doing today.

Chairman John McCarthy welcomed all in attendance and began by looking back on the motivations and achievements of the founders of the Credit Union. Whilst too many to mention individually, a reception for the founders/founder families, former Directors, volunteers and staff will take place in the credit union premises on May 24 coming.

John spoke on how the Credit Union movement now stands at a crossroads. Having stabilised following the economic crisis, the movement is now looking to the future, focusing on prudent lending, enhancing services using technology based platforms and again becoming the financial services provider of choice for the community of Bandon

While acknowledging that good governance and regulation is vitally important, John commented that the government response to the financial crisis, and in particular the credit union sector, is disproportionate, and called on the public representatives present on the night to address these issues and enable credit unions to conduct their business successfully and responsibly.

Engaging with the community has always been the mission of Bandon Credit Union and John outlined some of the many activities it is involved in that demonstrate this, such as the eCentre, which the credit union established in surplus office space on its premises, in conjunction with Bandon Chamber of Commerce and Cork County Council. Further demonstrating commitment to Bandon, Chris Smith, General Manager of the credit union, presented a cheque for €5,000 to Padraig Hamilton, manager of Hamilton High School, to kick off the school’s fundraising drive for the building of five new classrooms. Supporting education is a top priority for the credit union and the anniversary programme includes an Education Day in March when there will be an official announcement of a new Scholarship Scheme, as well as information on a new Education Loan Package to be offered to third level students.

Always willing to meet and speak to members, Bandon credit union is open to lending where other institutions might not be. Lending is critical to the credit union’s success and they are highly motivated lenders, as General Manager Chris Smith, who was next to the podium, explained.

Launching three new loan packages, exclusive to Bandon Credit Union, Chris expounded the benefits of borrowing from a credit union, including interest rates which in some cases were half those offered by the four ‘pillar’ banks. The credit union also pays insurance on member’s loans so that in the event of a borrower’s death, the family were not further burdened with unpaid debt. This was in addition to the €1,300 paid to all families on the death of a member to help with funeral expenses.

Bandon Credit Union is actively seeking new members and invites the people of Bandon and surrounding areas to drop in, speak to a staff member and find out how the credit union offers much more than any other financial institution.

John then outlined details of other events such as the Community Open Day in June, the exhibition of photos/records and memorabilia in September in conjunction with the Bandon Historical Society, the entrepreneurship forum in November and in conjunction with Bandon Summerfest, a comedy club in July.

Finally John thanked all those that had attended and said he looked forward the seeing all of them more frequently in both the Bandon and Innishannon branches in the weeks and months ahead.

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.
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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

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